Home Town Pub Crawl

With all my gallivanting up and down the country (see previous posts) I recently felt the acute need to reacquaint myself with my hometown.

I’ve lived in Turo for the last decade or so, but before I came to the big city I’d been a true country boy, a simple bumpkin who had lived almost his entire life within a 5 miles radius.

That all changed when I stepped out by myself as a travelling oven cleaner. With the freedom to see the rest of the county, I soon found that village life was no longer enough for me. I’d seen a glimpse of the outside world and the prospect of returning to the home comforts of my village pub was no longer quite as alluring. After a month of cleaning ovens on the road I’d packed my worldly belongings into wooden crates and was ready to make my move to the big city.

Ten years later and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Although I’m well aware that it’s one of the smallest of cities in the country, it’s the perfect size for a man like myself who appreciates having a wealth of pubs on his doorstep. Drinkers like me always have our favourite haunts. We have the boozers that we visit when we’re feeling sociable, the darker rooms for when we’d rather be alone and the bright bistros for those rare days when we want to bask in the sun. What we rarely do is take a chance on new places.

Steeling myself for a change, I sought to address this by visiting three new (to me) boozers in the city:

William IV

I’d heard the William was a decent place for a pint but had never found a real reason to venture in. Perhaps it was the rather pristine pastel paint job that put me off, or the garish light that seemed to emanate from the building on a Friday – either way I’d decided to swerve the place up until this weekend. My worries about the place were confirmed upon my entry. The William IV is a very well looked after establishment, with attentive staff and non-offensive, easy on the eye decor…so not really my kind of place.

The Rising Sun

I usually try and only visit pubs that are within a short walk of my home which is why I’ve avoided The Rising Sun before this pub crawl. Although The Rising Sun looks like a traditional pub from the outside, it has ‘restaurant’ painted all over it as soon as you walk in. I’d like to say that I was disappointed, but the team here have done such a fantastic job that I got far too comfortable to be displeased by anything I saw.

Bustopher Jones

The implausibly named Bustopher Jones completed my crawl in a somewhat fitting way. Once more I was allured into a place that had all the hallmarks of a pub and (once more) I was surprised to find myself in a place that was a far cry from what I actually wanted: a wine bar and restaurant. Fortunately for those working at Bustopher’s, I had become sufficiently lubricated enough to no longer care about the death of the British pub, so I slyly slipped a couple of glasses of chardonnay down before polishing off an extortionate Steak.

Cornish Brewery Tours Worth Doing

Thinking of visiting Cornwall soon?

I’ve got the lowdown on the very best brewery tours in the county – so who’s thirsty?

Despite having lived in Cornwall for the majority of my life, I’ve made more than a handful of friends from outside the county, some even as far as London! Although many would argue that I use the term ‘friend’ too loosely, I am nevertheless always eager to point visitors in the right direction when it comes to tourist attractions. Thousands of tourists come to visit Cornwall every year, they mostly come for the warmer climate and the beaches, but what many miss out on is visiting an authentic Cornish brewery.

Although Cornish beer has only started to pick up steam in the last decade, many tourists seem to ignore this strong arm of our culture. Besides recommending pubs to passing visitors I always make sure to nudge them in the direction of a brewery, as these attractions neatly balance education with entertainment, whilst also giving strangers to the area a chance to meet Cornish people and see how they work.

These breweries exemplify what is fantastic about Cornwall, they also brew excellent ale which you should definitely consider taking away with you:

Skinner’s Brewery

Set up just a little over 20 years ago, Skinner’s made their name with their aptly titled ‘Cornish Knocker’, a golden ale that I couldn’t get enough of when it first came out. Although their popularity is yet to extend beyond Cornwall, I feel that it’s only a matter of time before they hit the big time. In the meantime you can make the most of their relative anonymity by dropping in on their brewery for a couple.

Sharp’s Brewery

Sharp’s legendary amber ale Doom Bar has long been a favourite up and down the country with major stockists and chain pubs alike ordering it en mass. You can’t accuse the men and women behind the beer of slacking though, as they’ve been busy developing a a huge range of complimentary beers that have proven to be just as popular. I’m a particular fan of their light ale, Coaster, which is perfect for sunny afternoon sipping.

St. Austell Brewery

I’ve not yet met a Cornish man who doesn’t like the taste of Tribute, it’s a pale ale that has been round for donkey’s years and it has single-handedly buoyed the St. Austell Brewery to national fame. They’ve since brewed up a huge range of beers to support their original here, with Proper Job and Korev Lager leading the charge in supermarkets and pubs alike. They’ve poured a tonne of money into their brewery experience making it well worth a visit.

Padstow Brewing Co.

I’ve already written about a wonderful pub worth visiting near Padstow, but the town itself is also definitely worth checking out and whilst you’re there you may as well drop by the Padstow Brewing Co.! This brewery is so new that you can practically smell the paint drying. Founded in 2013, this brewery is home to the only female Head Brewer in Cornwall and pumps out around 9000 pints of delicious ale a week. Their Brewday Experience might cost £109, but it’s incredibly in depth and includes beer tastings, lunch and a free T-shirt – so what’s not to like?!